The empty nest
How sweet it is...
The bedroom doors were open, the drapes pulled back, the sunlight streaming in, the beds made, the floors washed and garbage pails emptied. Towels were folded and stacked neatly in the bathroom. The toilet was flushed, the bathtub clean and the floors free of footmarks. No unwanted items were on the kitchen table or counters, or in the dining room or living room.
I walked from room to room, admiring the spotless shine in my house.
The last of my three children left for his new apartment today. And just after his vehicle pulled away, with clothes and a mattress tied down with bungee cords to the roof, I had the house cleaned from top to bottom. The other two left a few months earlier.
I luxuriated in my quiet and undisturbed state. Twenty-two years of working exceptionally hard with my husband to raise a family healthy in mind, spirit and body is an accomplishment. A massive workout too!
It is now my turn to come into my own and be free from the daily grind of high-alert sensitivity to children’s needs, wants and impulses. The chronic concern for the well-being and safety of one’s children, the hurts and arguments, the housework, shopping and cooking, the round-the-clock management of emotions and expectations and, the moments of blessedness, have been temporarily suspended.
Of course, I’ll miss them. I might even have a few off days not knowing what to do with myself or, of feeling terribly lonely. But for now, I’m into the benefits: the new meditation room, the reading room and the exercise room. And, that's just the beginning.
Is an empty nest a possible metaphor for a new beginning? For seizing a new opportunity? What new beginnings are you facing?
Keep you posted,
1/8/2013 04:56:35 am
Definitely a new beginning! Enjoy the journey Minda, you deserve it - wow 3 children!! I am at the complete opposite end of the empty nest "syndrome", having two toddlers at home. This is my new beginning:)
15/8/2013 09:19:20 am
Best to enjoy each stage as it changes and morphs so quickly...
1/8/2013 08:46:51 am
Thanks for this - it's wonderful to celebrate the accomplishment of raising a family and having achieved that goal relatively intact! Then....what exactly?? Let answering that question follow celebrating the accomplishment. I'm loving your thoughtful entries.
15/8/2013 08:37:08 am
I enjoy listening to the accounts of "experienced" mums. I am still in the thick of raising 2 little ones with all of the demands that entails. Your blog is comforting for 2 reasons. First, it makes me realize what a privilege it is to live the experience of the full, crazy, bustling household. Second, it is comforting to know that MY time will come eventually. In the meantime, I need to seize all of the lovely opportunities that come with the mayhem!
15/8/2013 09:17:45 am
Raising kids is by far the best and the hardest job/experience.
3/10/2013 04:35:17 am
I really enjoyed your posts Minda. You have a lot of sensitivity and warmth...I have two teenagers at home, your post made me think to value their presence even more!
3/10/2013 04:48:41 am
Thank you Simona for your kind words. It's almost 6 months of an empty nest and yes, there are moments of real pining for them, for being around the table yacking away and for being intimately connected to their lives. Once they are gone... I don't think they really come back. Maybe just for short periods when they are in transition. So,totally enjoy and value your time with them.
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My family, relationships, movement, nature, flexibility of mind, exploration of alternative perspectives & openness are central to my life.